If Gareth Bale is still good enough to do this, he’s still good enough for Spurs
While many Tottenham fans will be waking up with a spring in their step following news of their attempts to re-sign Gareth Bale from Real Madrid, other Spurs supporters may be feeling understandably wary about reuniting with their former hero.
There is always a risk attached to any reunion when a player held in such high esteem as Bale is at Tottenham returns in the hope of rekindling the same romance.
While Bale collected a second La Liga title last season, the last two years have been a personal write off since Zinedine Zidane’s swift return as manager; he has started fewer than half of Real’s league fixtures in that time and was trusted to start just one Champions League fixture in 2019-20.
That sole European start coincided with a calamitous 3-0 defeat at PSG, but the game did provide one moment of hope for Spurs fans if the Wales international does make the move back to north London.
Angel Di Maria had already struck a first-half brace to leave Real 2-0 down by the time Dani Carvajal lofted a long pass towards the edge of the area and the ball broke loose to Bale.
Amid two seasons of ugly barbs between the player and his own manager and supporters, the stop-start appearances and niggling injuries, the Wales, golf and Madrid, Bale produced a moment of Galactico star power that reminded us all of the special talent that took him to the Bernabeu for a world-record fee in the first place.
— Liam Tyler (@tyler_lj) September 18, 2019
Alas, VAR stepped in and ruined all the fun, spotting the ball brush Bale’s arm just before he volleyed it over the head of former team-mate Keylor Navas, denying Real their route back into the game.
The VAR check did at least give us another moment to savour: the exasperation in Marquinhos’ face followed by his desperate plea for handball as it became apparent he was powerless to prevent something special taking place.
All the clues as to why Bale needs to leave Real are there in his stoney-faced, awkward non-celebration that foretold a future of social distancing.
Picture him instead scoring that goal with a smile on his face, a Tottenham badge on his chest and the warmth of a club in his soul. Now even those doubting Spurs fans can’t help but get excited about the potential return of their prodigal son